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Arden Raine is an ex-theatrical making sense of life through many lenses.

Monday, May 19, 2014

They Like You, They Really Like You

Well... until they don't.

I am talking about virtual friendship and the pitfalls of acquaintance.

Today I received a terse and rather unhappy private message from a social media acquaintance.

My prolific sharing of "homo & devil worship" materials, memes, articles, associations and events over our year and a half connection had driven this soul to frothing rage.

I was summarily dumped from their 'friend' list and wished in distain that I "find Jesus before I drag my whole family to hell."

Obviously I am not sad to no longer be this person's acquaintance.

As my writing in this blog should attest I am fairly open about most aspects of life.

I speak freely and openly about sex, love, religion, politics, and nature.

And if I've accepted your request for friendship, virtual or otherwise, it is because I want to get to know and like YOU. 

It's not only the parts of you that we can agree about that I like but the whole, glorious, human that makes you.

I don't have to worship, love, look, speak, vote, live, shop, grow, parent or exist lock step with you to LOVE you.

I am perfectly clear that you and I can disagree on oodles of stuff listed above and we BOTH are great people. As long as we agree to respect each other's boundaries. As long as compassion rules our passions.

And when we step over each other's boundaries, screw up, get furious with one another we can always come back to the core of our mutual love and respect. We all fuck up or get genuinely angry with each other. It's how we repair the trust that matters.

I tried to ask this person to discuss their obvious discomfort and distaste with core portions of who I am. That too was shot down because apparently I have "an agenda!"

Yep. You betcha I do! And here it is:

Equal opportunity to express those two concepts in all facets of living.

The mind is like a book. It can only be opened if you want it to be.

As I posted to my page on said social media, I am sorry you didn't get the memo that I am a bisexual, neopagan. But when you sent me the friend request I saw that you were a conservative, fundamental Christian. I was fine with that. I respect your values and form of worship.

I tailored my feeds to you so that you had limited access to most of my posts. A courtesy I extend to anyone I don't know well or who may not want to see everything I share.

Grandma wants to see my kidlet grow. She doesn't want to know what I am eating, reading, or watching on the boob-tube. Or how my relationship with her child is strained because the garbage went out late. Or that I love using curse words.

But it is my page. I don't cross post or tag folks without full consideration. And I am going to share things that are relevant to me on my page.

And we all earn the right to enter each others deeper, closer circles of connection. It takes time. And value calls on who gets what access are vitally important.

I wasn't this person's cup of tea. And not all getting-to-know-you periods lead to friendship. And that's okay. Okeydoke! No harm. No foul. Until....

You take the time to yell and wish eternal torment at a fellow adult (me and my whole genetic line) because you don't believe like them (or I refuse to worship exactly like you).

So if my being an animist and hard polytheist who currently is part of an ADF style druidic congregation bothers you? So be it!

I will still be proud to share that my first public liturgy is a Blessing rite to LBGTQ and hetero normative love. I wrote the invocations and closely worked with my Grove liturgists and I think it is going to be great. And if you don't care don't come. Really don't come.

I am proud that my husband & I have been together since 1992! Our decades long, loving, monogamous partnership doesn't change the fact that I am a human being who is sexually attracted to both sexes. The soul I love is part of a male body. You don't like non-heterosexual couplings? Don't engage in non-hetero coupling. But don't tell me and those I love how we are doing it 'wrong'.

My delightful cousin, who I've adored since we were both toddlers, said it best:

"I wish people would spend more time trying to help others than worrying about what they are offended by.  It's silly."

I 100% agree!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mothering Day Part 2

Last year I tackled a very hard subject: my uncomfort with Mother's Day.

See my post: Obligatory Mother's Day Post http://drolleryandpathos.blogspot.com/2013/05/obligatory-mother-day-post.html to see how much can change in a year!

This year via the interwebs I learned this year is the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day in the United States.

Read about the cool origins here in the Huffington Post: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5280493 How incredibly amazing is that? It moved my distaste for the day from high to a thoughtful pondering. How could I reclaim the day?

So what I've been dreading as a saccharine card-store holiday and yearly reminder that my maternal cords snapped long ago has shifted for me here in the year 2014. Even more so than last year's acceptance and partial repair of familial bonds.

Today I would have been 5 1/2 months along in our pregnancy. And that tidbit caused me to suck air a bit. I won't lie.

But this year has so far taught me how much mothering is so needed.

The unconditional compassion for others is what I feel is at the heart of the word mothering.

Through the darkest hours of this year thus far I witnessed astonishing acts of mothering:

Between us women who found courage in each other to grieve our lost babies. In some cases to speak on those loses for the very first time!

Between my husband and I and in turn with each other to our one living child.

I save seen that my words of truth on my loss here have helped comfort others.

And what has occurred is a small community of men and women who need and want to share mothering.

I am glad that though my uterus failed I was able to birth a small safe space online where we can and do support each other unconditionally. We mother each other and give to one another courage and comfort and occasionally a swift kick as needed. It's glorious!

And I am grateful and astounded by the love, support and courage of all these folks!

But as happy and life affirming as my revelation and grief process has been I still must ask a small favor:

Be gentle in your well wishes to any and all females you know on this 100th anniversary.

You may not know how she braves the day. Can you know if she is dealing:

With the painful reminder of her own loses?

With the empty womb where love should have grown but sadly has not?

With the overwhelming love and resources to adopt or foster yet has been denied?

With the terrible loss of her own Mother or Grandmothers or beautiful gay man who taught her trust?

With the unwanted questioning as to when or why or why not she's a mother by now?

With feeling her own parenting is a miserable failure?

With exhaustion and feeling of being overwhelmed or postpartum with their new bundles of joy?

With an empty nest where the birds never return?

We don't know. So if someone wishes me a happy mother's day I'll smile and thank them. And if I truly know them I'll well wish or offer a hug, or let her grab a quick shower as needed.

But for me this year I'd rather be mothering and being mothered than toasted for my status as MOM.

Though the excited whisperings of the kidlet as the plotting of how to spend my day is more welcomed thus year than I ever imagined. And I'll gratefully appreciated each minute on Sunday.

I love you all. And if the day is getting you down, I am here for you. And you might just hear from me too!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Everyday Death and I
do a slow dance.
I look up longingly
trying to read Her face.
Today? Today perhaps?
But alas no. Not today.
Some days I twist
and turn my face from her
and whisper
Today? Must it be today?
But thankfully no. Not today.
Sometimes we move swiftly
across the floor.
Our feet gliding in and out
To and away.
Today? Is it today?
But no. Not today.
My whole life we've been
moving in this tango.
I know all life does.
But our bond is closer
We are more intimate.
There have been so
many days in which
I cry:
Today!! It is today!
But no. As you can see, not today.
Death dances thus with
others I love too.
Each day they glide and
dip and spin with Her.
And all too many have asked:
Today? Is it today?
And have heard:
Today we dance no more.